Stephen King Movie Review-A Return to Salem’s Lot

With the open ending to the original Salem’s Lot movie what will they do to follow up with that? What adventures does Ben Mears continue in this franchise? What became of Salem’s Lot after the vampire epidemic? What secrets does the Marsten house still have? Will we find this out in the movie I am reviewing called A Return to Salem’s Lot? 

The answer to the above questions is a resounding nothing and no. The only link to the original movie is there is a town called Salem’s Lot and there are vampires there. That is it. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Even if I based this review on the merits that I never read the book or watched the first movie I would still be disappointed. 

The movie starts out with the introduction of an anthropologist named Joe Weber (Michael Moriarty) who is out filming tribal natives performing a ritual that involves cutting out the heart of another person. He is summoned by his ex-wife stating that his son, Jeremy Weber (Ricky Addison Reed), is terminally ill. He returns to find out that his son is fine and it was a ploy by his ex-wife to take his son with him. So Joe gives a choice of either going to Peru or to an old cottage his Aunt gave him when he spent a couple of days with her in Salem’s Lot. I will let you guess what they decided to do.  

The father and son head to Salem’s Lot where they meet a gas station attendant who is strange and rude to them and the cops start harassing them. Well at least they kept the connection of locals being weary of outside people. They also notice no one in town in running around except for a couple of people in the daytime. The story continues when a bunch of teens driving through Salem’s Lot get stopped by the cops and then attacked by vampires. Joe tries to help one of the teens that escaped the vampire attack by bringing her and her son to the town judge. 

Judge Axel (Andrew Duggan) welcomes them in and after conversing with them he lets them know they are vampires and they proceed to kill and suck the blood of the teen. The judge wants Joe to write a vampire bible saying how good vampires are and Joe is like ok sure. He didn’t really care they just killed a girl. He is also reunited with his aunt that is a vampire and his high school crush that was turned into a vampire when she was in high school. Joe is ok with this and has sex with his high school crush leaving his son to go play with the vampire children. The judge explains to Joe that vampires only feed on humans on special occasions and refrain from it because of all the sexual diseases and drugs in humans. Instead they feed off the blood of cows. The people that roam the town during the day are called Drones or basically their day keepers. It is like Straker in the original but not as cool or intelligent. 

Jeremy meets Amanda played none other than Tara Reid in her first film role. He falls in love with her and kisses her. The next day Jeremy is happy and can’t wait for night to see Amanda again. Another character comes to town, Van Meer (Samuel Fuller), who is looking for someone he thought was around there. It turns out he is a Nazi hunter and thinks a Nazi is in Salem’s Lot.  Basically Joe finally realizes he doesn’t like what is going on and what is happening with his son and the fact he impregnated his high school vampire sweetheart (Is this Twilight?) and decides he is done with the vampires. This leads to Joe, Jeremy and Van Meer to team up to take on the vampires. If you dare watch this movie I won’t ruin the ending. 

What can I say about this movie? As stated above this really has no connection to the real Salem’s Lot universe. It makes it seems like there has always been vampires in Salem’s Lot which is not true. If this was named a different movie and the town was named different then this would be fine. Not harking on the story not following the original is the acting is pretty bad. They are bland. The direction of the characters do not make sense at times like Joe just dismissing the vampires just killed someone and is willing to help them write their vampire bible and sleep with some chick. Some effects of the gore were ok but some of the vampire makeup when it was used was not well done. I didn’t even really see vampire fangs. It was a very dull movie. 

I did enjoy the character of Van Meer. He was smart, funny and made the film a little watchable. The judge had his moments too but not enough to make is better. I did like the final act when you ignore some of the acting because it was pretty neat. I guess this story was trying to make some statement with vampires being a race and that humans were bad because of all the STDs and drugs they used but it becomes lost with the dullness and way the story present itself.  

I usually have exposition and a theme relating these movies to life but I really have nothing. This movie left me with a bad taste. Also Stephen King was not really involved in this movie but had to review it because it is a “sequel” to his story. If it wasn’t for parts of the last act and the character of Van Meer this would be another half star out of five. I will have to give this one start out of five. 

Has anyone seen this sequel that is not really a sequel? If so what did you like about it if anything? As a standalone movie ignoring is it supposed to be a sequel do you think it had any good ideas? Tell me your thoughts below. Here is the only trailer I could find for this movie so you can see if you think you want to watch it. 

Books Reviewed:
Carrie ***
Salem’s Lot ***1/2

 Movies Reviewed:
Carrie (1976) ****
The Rage: Carrie 2 ***
Carrie (2002) ½* (Yes a half of a star out of five) 

Salem’s Lot (1979) **

A Return to Salem’s Lot *

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